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Scottish winners of Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service announced

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Eighteen charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across Scotland receive the prestigious accolade.

The highest award given to charitable organisations, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2021, will be awarded to 18 organisations in Scotland today, as the UK Minister for Civil Society and Youth hailed volunteers as “the backbone of local communities” during the national recovery from COVID-19.

From Inverness to Edinburgh, charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups across the country have received the prestigious award for delivering exceptional service within their communities over the past year and beyond.

The winners have carried out critical work to enhance the lives of others, from providing help and support to vulnerable people in Cromarty, to tackling homelessness in Aberdeen. Many of those honoured have adapted their services to respond to the coronavirus outbreak as the voluntary sector continues to play a vital role in the national recovery.

One of the winning organisations, Westhill and District Men’s Shed, used a 3D printer to produce 2700 face shields for care staff in Aberdeenshire.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service Independent Committee Chair Sir Martyn Lewis, said:

“There is no finer example of democracy in action than people getting together at a local level to tackle a problem or issue at the heart of their community. This year’s magnificent award-winning groups touch virtually every area of need across our society.

“They also highlight the growing and key role which volunteers are playing in times of rapid change and unprecedented challenges. Whether driven by a neighbourly passion to help others or to achieve that well recognised “high” of personal satisfaction, volunteering taps into a rich spirit of generosity, ingenuity and kindness. The Queen’s Award’s judges are proud to honour the achievements of those who help to make our country great.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said:

“From the Westhill and District Men’s Shed tackling male loneliness in Aberdeenshire, to Shopper-Aide’s work to support the elderly in Kintyre, these 18 Scottish organisations showcase the incredible contribution voluntary groups make to communities. Their kind and generous spirit has never been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’d like to congratulate all the award-winners, whose hard work and dedication has helped people in need across Scotland and the rest of the UK throughout the most challenging of years.”

UK Government Minister for Civil Society, Baroness Barran said:

“I’m extremely grateful for the work being carried out by volunteers across the country, and this prestigious award is extremely well deserved. I’d like to congratulate all of the winners, and thank them for the dedication to their communities.

“In these challenging times, charities, social enterprises and their volunteers have been the backbone of local communities.

“Recent research has shown that 99% of people who have volunteered report positive personal benefits, including a sense of purpose, achievement and feeling as though they are making a difference. I hope today’s award inspires people and I encourage everyone to consider how they could volunteer in some way.”

The full list of awards made across the UK can be found here.

Nominations for the 2022 awards close on 15 September 2021.

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